Published: Sun, February 10, 2019
Business | By Eloise Houston

Montreal unemployment rate drops below Toronto's (again) in January


Positive news in the Cariboo too where the unemployment rate dropped to 5.9 per cent from 7.3 per cent year-over-year.

The unemployment rate in the Montreal region was down slightly in January from the month before, falling below the level in Toronto once again. "We continue to work on ways of connecting these employers to people looking for work or advancement". "That blew past expectations for a modest 5,000 gain", said Royce Mendes, an economist with CIBC Economics.

In contrast, Alberta saw a second straight month of declines, down 16,000 positions, vaulting the unemployment rate to 6.8 per cent. In January 2018, the jobless rate for the region was listed at 6.6%.

"On a year-over-year basis, the number of private sector employees rose by 293,000 (+2.5 per cent), while the number of public sector employees grew by 62,000 (+1.7 per cent)".

There were an estimated 39,900 people employed in the region in a labour force of 42,100, according to the latest Statistics Canada labour force survey released Friday, February 8.

"I think it does underscore that for all the doom and gloom in the market, the Canadian economy is not in a bad place in quite a few sectors", said Andrew Kelvin, senior rates strategists at TD Securities.

"Overall, it's been a good day for readings on the Canadian economy".

Last week, Bank of Canada senior deputy governor Carolyn Wilkins said the country has been in a "puzzling" stretch of weak wage growth at a time when the job market has been experiencing one of its biggest labour shortages in years.

In the Calgary census metropolitan area, the unemployment rate fell to 7.3 per cent from 7.5 per cent the previous month.

Part-time job gains outpaced full-time, 36,000 versus 30,900, and youth age 15 to 24 led employment growth, accounting for a whopping 79 percent of total job gains and virtually all the part-time gains. Canada's largest province added 41,000 jobs and saw 31,000 more people join the labour force.

"Wages continued to rise in January, with B.C. among the top provinces for year-over-year growth".

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